The CPA Exam


The Uniform Certified Public Accountant Exam is a litmus test designed to protect public interest. Only the most qualified candidates become licensed CPAs in the United States.

Ready to study now? View CPA Exam Prep courses.

Do you have what it takes to become a CPA?
How to become a CPA

Discover and compare state requirements to determine which is right for you.
CPA Requirements by State

Ready to apply for the CPA Exam? Here is what you need to know.
CPA Application Process

Each year, the AICPA makes changes to the CPA Exam. View the latest additions.
CPA Exam Scheduling

When can you test? Which exam should you take first? Here’s our strategy.
CPA Exam Scoring

Master the CPA examinations format and scoring.
CPA Exam Score Release

CPA Exam pass rates and when to expect your scores.
CPA Exam Changes

Our comprehensive guide to the IQEX and International CPA exam.
International Students


Where can I take the CPA exam?

The exam is offered in a computer-based format at authorized Prometric test centers in the United States and certain designated international locations. To locate a testing center near you, visit the Prometric website.

Do I need to take the CPA exam in the same state where I am seeking licensure?

No, you can take the exam for any state at any of the authorized Prometric testing centers.

When can I take the CPA exam?

The Uniform CPA Examination is offered the first two months of each calendar quarter, known as testing windows:

  • January 1 – February 28 (or 29)
  • April 1 – May 31
  • July 1 – August 31
  • October 1– November 30

Do I have to take all four CPA exam parts at the same time?

You can take them all in the same testing window if you choose, but it is not required.

Can I retake a CPA part if I fail?

Yes, but you cannot retake the same part again in the same testing window.

Can I take the CPA exam parts in any order?

Yes, you may take the CPA exam in any order you please.

Who issues the CPA license?

The licensing authority for the CPA designation is the Board of Accountancy for the jurisdiction in which a CPA practices. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) maintains the Uniform CPA Examination content and scoring.

How do I register to take the CPA exam?

Most jurisdictions allow you to apply online using the CPA Examination Online Application System; however, you need to contact the Board of Accountancy directly if you are applying for one of the following jurisdictions:

How long do I have to pass all four CPA exam parts?

This varies by jurisdiction, but most allow a maximum of 18 months to pass all remaining sections to retain credit for a prior passed section.

How much time should I expect to review the CPA study material?

Depending on experience, you should expect to invest up to 100 hours of total study time for each exam part.

What is a passing CPA exam score?

Each exam is graded on a scale of 0-99. A passing score is 75 or above. The score doesn’t represent a simple average, instead, a complex formula applies.

Will I receive my CPA exam score immediately?

No. Scores are generally available within a few weeks of taking your exam.

How many times can I retake a CPA exam part if I fail?

There is no limit to the number of times you can retake any of the CPA exam parts if you fail. Keep in mind, that you must wait until the next testing window before you can take the part you failed. It is important to note that you must pass all 4 exam parts within 18 months of each other.

What fees should I expect for the CPA exam?

Initial applicants pay an application fee and an examination fee for each exam. The amount you will pay in fees will depend on your jurisdiction, but you can expect to pay around $200 for each part of the exam.

What are the continuing professional education (CPE) requirements once I become a CPA?

The requirements for continuing professional education vary from state to state. Upon completion of the CPA exams, a CPA must meet the requirements of the state where their CPA license is held. In general, you should expect to earn 40 hours of CPE for each year in the reporting period. The AICPA requires regular members to complete 120 hours of CPE for each three-year reporting period.

Sign Up Today!

Sign up to receive updates, study tips, and special offers from Fast Forward Academy.

Thank you for registering with Fast Forward Academy
Please enter a valid email address.
Start My Free Trial